Woman and child with flowers in the desert

The (sleep) walk

Saber-toothed and right-willed
I march across four thousand miles of desert
with two thoughts in my mind and
twenty two dollars in my pocket.
When I came to the end to find
and took off my shoes
and bedded down with the first woman I met,
I was found to be under the gaze
of rotting fruit.
Piles and piles of rotting fruit
surrounded me,
burbling and crying out
in gas bubbles and a rarefied air.

With meat hooks for hands
I dove in,
sending unspeakable filth flying past
my post-coital lover,
covering us both in what?
Or were we becoming one with it instead?
I cannot say.

The piles grew and blotted out the sun
and in darkness we took turns fighting,
edified by the enormity of it all,
castigated by the end of summer
and the inevitable decay of time.

My legs stuck in the floundering mass and,
unable to move from the waist down,
I struck all the harder with what strength I had.

My lover was nowhere in the dark,
no answer to my calls,
no savior to my pleas.
And so I let it come and take me,
filling my mouth and ears and eyes,
choking on the rich, ripe smell,
taking in the alcohol
before unable to breath any more.

And then I was in the desert –
with one thought in my head
and the twenty two dollars in my pocket
and I strode on,
the sun beating,
the day baking
and I ever present and aware.


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